COUNTY OF SULLIVAN INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY
One Cablevision Center
Ferndale, New York 12734
(845) 295-2603 – telephone
(845) 295-2604 – fax
REGULAR MEETING MINUTES
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
I. CALL TO ORDER
Chairman Steingart called to order the regular meeting of the County of Sullivan Industrial Development Agency at approximately 10:06 am, held in the Legislative Committee Room at the Sullivan County Government Center, Monticello, New York.
II. ROLL CALL
Members Present- Members Absent-
Ira Steingart None
Staff Present- Staff Absent-
Jennifer C.S. Brylinski, Exec. Director None
Jen Flad, VP Business Development
Allan C. Scott, ALSCO Management, Inc. /Consultant /IDA CEO
Walter F. Garigliano, Esq., Agency Legal Counsel
Tara Lewis, Garigliano Law Offices
Scott Samuelson, SC Legislature
Cindy Kurpil Gieger, SC Legislature
Gene Benson, SC Legislature
Alan Sorensen, SC Legislature
Marc Baez, SC Partnership for Economic Development
Cathy Paty, SC Chamber of Commerce
Dan Hust, Sullivan County Democrat
Jill Weyer, SC Planning Division
Steven Stuart, SC Office of Sustainable Energy
Laura Quigley, SC Center for Workforce Development
Andrew Arias, Cooper Arias LLP
Not all attendees were present for the entire meeting.
Chairman Steingart welcomed former members Harris Alport and Harold Gold to the meeting and thanked them for their continued interest in and support for Sullivan County projects and initiatives.
III. APPROVAL OF MEETING MINUTES
Mr. Barbuti made a motion to approve the minutes of the April 8, 2014 regular meeting. The motion was seconded by Ms. Loughlin, the Board voted and the motion was unanimously carried.
IV. BILLS AND COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Sykes made a motion to approve the revised schedule of payments. Mr. Siegel seconded the motion. On the subject of the bill from Wilson Elser, Mr. White asked for an update on their work. Chairman Steingart replied that he has requested more information regarding gaming projects being proposed in other counties, and the benefits being offered by those counties. He will forward that information to the Board when he receives it. Mr. White requested another update from Wilson Elser in the near future, and Attorney Garigliano replied that he expects a face to face meeting here in Sullivan County. Following the discussion, the Board voted and the motion to approve the revised schedule of payments was unanimously carried.
V. DIRECTORS REPORTS
Ms. Brylinski stated that she has received a preliminary application for a hotel/restaurant/spa project in the Town of Bethel. The full application and details have not been received, but the total project cost is projected at $24 million. She will circulate the full application to the Board once it has been received.
She added that the Sullivan County Funding Corp. (SCFC) expects to refinance some bonds previously issued for the Sullivan County Community College Dormitory Corporation. Details will be shared when received.
Also on the subject of SCFC, she has received some loan application paperwork and expects to call the Millennium Revolving Loan Fund Committee together to review applications in the coming weeks.
Ms. Brylinski noted that the IDA is seeking cost proposals for the construction of the red meat facility building. As required by the granting agency, a thirty day notice appeared in the May 9 newspaper.
She noted that she and Ms. Flad will attend the annual meeting of the New York State Economic Development Council on May 21 through 23. This is an important opportunity for networking and professional development.
Finally, Ms. Brylinski stated that IDA staff has received new computers, and is working to develop a means for sharing electronic documents with the Board.
Mr. Scott advised that he has been meeting with the hotel/restaurant/spa applicant to which Ms. Brylinski referred in her report. He added that he continues to work with Sutphen East, Chairman Samuelson and Marc Baez to identify ways to keep Sutphen East here in Sullivan County. He has worked with all four applicants for casino licensing. He has been meeting with Veria Lifestyle Inc. and the Town of Thompson to help the firm navigate the process for meeting various local requirements, and to encourage them to procure goods and services from local businesses. He and Ms. Flad gave a presentation to the Town of Bethel Town Board in April, and to the Town of Fallsburg Town Board on May 12. Both Boards remain very supportive of the IDA and both presentations were well received.
VI. OLD BUSINESS
Andrew Arias of Cooper Arias, LLP reviewed the Annual Agency Audit Reports for the IDA and SCFC. His firm examines both agencies’ compliance with government regulations, and their internal controls. Cooper Arias gives an opinion on the fair presentation of financial statements. He noted that if an agency expends over $500,000 in federal funds in a given year, a federal single audit is required. In future years, this single audit may be required depending on the timing of federal grant drawdowns associated with the red meat facility.
He handed out and reviewed a series of graphs depicting the IDA’s net position, revenues and expenses, loan activity, and other aspects of the financial statements.
Mr. Arias examined the IDA’s compliance with USDA’s requirements regarding the RMAP funds, bank accounts, and drawdown processes. He also tested a random sample of PILOT projects for full-time equivalent certifications, agency fee payments, and PILOT calculations including adjustments made for failure to meet employment goals. He found no issues in these examinations.
He also examined the financial reports that Ms. Brylinski submitted through the PARIS system, to ensure that they match the information his firm finds during the audit.
He pointed out that audit reports generally do not offer positive comments on an agency, but simply point out any issues or problems. However, he noted that the NYS Comptroller’s Audit Report for the County of Sullivan IDA did offer positive comments regarding the thoroughness of its cost-benefit analyses, project full-time equivalent employment goals, PILOT adjustments that are made for failure to meet those goals, and the long-term tax benefits that result from projects. He added that the IDA should be proud of such a positive report.
With respect to the SCFC, he noted that the SCFC is subject to the same government auditing standards as the IDA, however the format is different because the SCFC was created under the Non Profit Corporation Law. He described the relationship between the SCFC and the IDA, and the revenues and expenses of the SCFC.
There was a brief discussion of the relationship between the SCFC and the IDA. Attorney Garigliano explained that the SCFC and the IDA share a single staff. The SCFC reimburses the IDA $40,000 each year to cover the share of staff salaries that is allocated to SCFC. The same members serve on the SCFC and IDA Boards.
Mr. Barbuti thanked the staff for their hard work and cooperation with Cooper Arias and the NYS Comptroller’s Office, to ensure that the IDA’s financial statements are in order and that the audit reports are consistently positive. Chairman Steingart noted that the Comptroller’s Office identified this IDA as a best practices model.
Ms. Brylinski discussed the IDA Committee Membership list. She noted that Chairman Steingart and the staff look at the committee structure each year to see if changes should be made. She asked the members to let Chairman Steingart know if they wish to make any changes. After a brief discussion, it was decided that Ms. Shaddock would serve as the new bank signatory for the IDA.
VII. NEW BUSINESS
Attorney Garigliano handed out a resolution regarding Center One Holdings, LLC. The project includes both seasonal and year-round businesses in Woodridge. The project proposes an expansion and upgrade of the facility. The resolution before the Board today authorizes an amendment to the project documents, to amend the description of the project by including the construction of a building addition, and to increase the payment in lieu of taxes based on this expansion. Mr. Rieber made a motion to approve the resolution. The resolution was seconded by Ms. Shaddock, the Board voted and the resolution was unanimously approved.
Attorney Garigliano handed out a resolution regarding Liberty Storage, LLC. Last fall, the Board approved a resolution authorizing the expansion of this project. At that time the Liberty Planning Board also approved the construction of the final building that appeared on the project’s approved 2003 site plan. However, over time, the company has determined that a different configuration of storage units would be more successful. The Planning Board has now approved the new configuration. The resolution before the Board today will authorize the amendment of the project documents, to include the proposed building in the project description, and to increase the payment in lieu of taxes to the taxing jurisdictions. Mr. Barbuti abstained from the discussion, as he is the Town of Liberty Supervisor and the project is located within the Town of Liberty. Ms. Shaddock made a motion to approve the resolution. The motion was seconded by Mr. Siegel, the Board voted and the resolution was passed with Mr. Barbuti abstaining for the reason described above.
Chairman Steingart asked the Board and others present for public comment.
Mr. Rieber advised that the Krispy Apple, a recipient of an SCFC Millennium Loan, has resolved various code issues and is now open.
Mr. Barbuti noted that during 2013 funding was approved to examine the potential for SCCC to enter the Start Up NY Program, and asked for a summary and findings. Ms. Brylinski said that she will get this information and share it with the Board.
Ms. Shaddock asked whether the Board would entertain a presentation by the Hudson Valley Building and Construction Trades Council. This group has worked with the Orange County IDA, and they recently entered into a local labor partner agreement. The members agreed to a presentation. Ms. Shaddock will set it up and Ms. Brylinski will add it to a future agenda.
Legislator Gieger inquired whether the Board envisions a specific project for the Start Up NY Program. Chairman Steingart replied no, but that Wilson Elser has assisted SCCC by reviewing their application to the program.
There was a discussion of the possibility of locating the food hub at SCCC. Chairman Steingart pointed out that the location of the hub will be determined by the private business that will operate the hub, not by the IDA or the Legislature. There was also a discussion of project funding, and Chairman Steingart reiterated that the project is being funded by the operator, the IDA, and state and federal grants, not by the County of Sullivan.
Sonja Hedlund asked for a timeframe for construction of the red meat facility. Chairman Steingart stated that construction cost proposals will be accepted until June 9. After that, the IDA hopes to begin construction as soon as possible. There was a brief discussion of requiring IDA projects, specifically casinos, to purchase local meats. Board members noted that the IDA cannot require local purchases, but that all of our projects are always urged to use local services, labor and products.
There was a more general conversation about the red meat facility. Chairman Steingart provided a brief overview for those guests who are not familiar with the project. Peter Ehrenberg asked why the building is being constructed before an operator is identified. Ms. Brylinski replied that the funding sources do not allow us to build the building for the benefit of a specific operator.
Jody Tedaldi asked for clarification on the resolution passed by the Board today, regarding Center One Holdings, LLC. Board members clarified that the resolution serves to ensure that the taxing jurisdictions receive additional payments in lieu of taxes as a result of the expansion and improvement project.
Ms. Tedaldi stated that locating the food hub at SCCC would lead to the creation of hundreds of jobs in agriculture and related fields. She also asked for clarification on the resolution that the IDA Board passed on October 8, 2012, which authorized Chairman Steingart to execute an option agreement with Glen Wild Industrial, LLC. Board members helped to clarify this resolution.
Ken Walter discussed road restrictions for 53 foot trailers. He also commented on the SC Partnership’s website, and noted that the Green Tech Park is a prime location for new development projects.
Legislator Sorensen encouraged the Board to read the Request for Applications for Gaming Facilities. He expressed a concern that if the IDA abates taxes for casino projects, our applications will not compete with Orange County applications. Finally, he asked to be advised immediately if Foxwoods submits an application to the IDA.
Bruce Ferguson suggested that perhaps SCCC deserves a second look as a location for the food hub. He also expressed that locating the food hub at SCCC would retain public ownership of the grant money that is partially funding the project.
Ms. Shaddock expressed her appreciation for the points that were made today, and for the debate, and she urged attendees to remember that each project undertaken has a larger impact on the County. The IDA works hard to develop projects, including the red meat facility and the food hub, that will create a larger impact.
Ms. Loughlin urged attendees to read the Start Up NY requirements and restrictions to become more familiar with the program.
Mr. White expressed that the EPT Concord II/ Adelaar project will be revisited in light of the change in scope.
On a motion made by Mr. Rieber and seconded by Mr. Siegel, at approximately 11:39 am the meeting was adjourned.
IDA VP, Business Development